White on white embroidered cotton nightgown with center front opening with buttons and buttonholes down the entire length. The pattern repeats about twenty-five times in the 51 inches between the neckline and the bottom hem, illustrating the advantage of using a block to stamp the design. The block used to print the primary pattern measures 2 5/8 by 1 3/8 inches. A matching row of embroidery curves along the edge of each front piece. The stamping and stitching were done before the gown was assembled. The stitches are eyelet, satin, and buttonhole. The eyelet stitches require first a hole to be made in the fabric and then satin stitches completely covering the edge of the opening. The blocks and nightgown were owned by Phebe Smith Norris (1804-1890), the donors’ great-grandmother.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Norris, Phebe Smith
overall: 50 in; 127 cm
made at
United States
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Victorian Needlework
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Victorian Needlework
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Miss Edna Plummer

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